Cemetery Works
Boulder, Colorado, USA
established 2001
Valley Brook Cemetery, Breckenridge, Colo
American Civil War
Soldiers' Stories
Walter H. McDonald
Private Walter H. McDonald; Company K, 3rd Colorado Cavalry

Walter H. McDonald enlisted as a Private on 17 Sept 1864 at Denver, Colorado.
He was mustered into Company 'K' of the Colorado 3rd Cavalry Regiment on 21 Aug 1864.
He served 136 days in the 3rd Colorado Cavalry regiment, 21 Aug 1864 to 04 Jan 1865.
The 3rd Colorado Cavalry regiment was a 100 day enlistment called by Territorial Governor John Evans as a regiment of Indian fighters.

Walter H. McDonald was mustered out on 04 Jan 1865 on the expiration of the regiments term of service.

While Walter H. McDonald was in service, a portion of the 3rd Colorado Cavalry regiment [450 of 1148 troopers, ~40%] engaged in the Sand Creek Massacre in which about 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho people, mainly women, children, and the elderly were killed. An infamous event in Colorado history.

It is unlikely that Private McDonald was present at Sand Creek. The 06 Dec 1864, Camp Report of the Major Hal Sayr, Company B, Third Colorado Cavalry, documenting the action of his battalion states that 22 soldiers of Company K were present. Company K was comprised of 85 soldiers. Only one in four were present; it is statistically unlikely that Pvt. McDonald was among the 25 percent.

  • CVGR, Colorado Veterans' Grave Registrations, 1862-1949, cards available at the Colorado State Archive, Denver, CO.
  • Historical Data Systems, Inc., Duxbury, MA 02331
  • NPS CWSSS Regimental Histories
  • NPS CWSSS Battle Summaries
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